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We Are Still Here:
tribal sovereignty & Home

Welcome to Native American Heritage Month
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We Are Still Here

One fact in the history of the United States is that Native Americans are not immigrants and have been stewarding the northern lands of the Western Hemisphere for millennia before colonial contact. We know that the colonial pilgrims recognized this as they first encountered Native sovereign nations in the name of peace and respect.

The most significant act they implemented in the name of peace and respect was to form treaties with the first encountered Native Nations—a treaty is a binding formal agreement, contract, or other written instrument that establishes obligations between two or more subjects of international law (primarily states and international organizations)1. As such, these lands across the U.S. are the original homelands to well over 500 different tribes and bands—some that are now nonexistent due to many annihilating factors such as disease, genocide, inhumane relocations and removals.
What Was Ours Promotional
This cultural aspect of American history and Native Americans’ resilience to survive, resist, regain and retain—always for the next generation of our people—is vital for every world citizen to learn and know. So we, as Native Americans do not undervalue or underestimate any of this; and despite all the atrocities against humanity, “we are still here” or “Âs Nutayuneân” in the Wampanoag language2.
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These empowering words have been said and repeated countless times in many different Native languages. In our Native American contemporary world and lives, the phrase reminds us of the history, death and survival of our ancestors, the battles that were fought, as well as signaling us to embrace home, where we honor and appreciate our elders, celebrate our cultural history through contemporary holidays, or celebrate our traditional feasts and community practices back home in our original homelands. Together, the notion of “Tribal Sovereignty and Home” encompasses all that is explained as a holistic concept, and serves to empower and heal us as we, Native Americans, are still here.

1 Britannica.com, https://www.britannica.com/topic/treaty, October 26, 2020 

2 The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, https://mashpeewam panoagtribe-nsn.gov/, October 27, 2020

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